Round-up: After Irene
By Andrea Sachs,
Hurricane Irene blew in and out last weekend, leaving her wet and wind-swept tracks along the East Coast. The situation is improving hourly, but tourism and state officials urge visitors to confirm all reservations in advance and check on road accessibility. Here’s an overview of some of the harder-hit states and regions.
Vermont: The storm really walloped the Green Mountain State, flooding towns and disabling major thoroughfares. A number of major mountain resorts and surrounding communities were incapacitated, including Okemo (Ludlow/Londonderry), Mount Snow (Willmington/Dover) and Killington-Pico (Rutland/Killington/West Bridgewater). At press time, Killington was closed, and Mount Snow had canceled its annual Labor Day weekend Brewers Festival. Mount Snow has, however, reopened its golf course and Canyon Express ski lift for limited mountain biking. Farther north, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen (Warren/Waitsfield/Fayston/Moretown) felt the storm’s impact but are rebounding: In Warren, all but three restaurants (Green Cup, Mint and the Pitcher Inn) have reopened.
Many roads are still covered in debris and bridges remain closed, though the Vermont Agency of Transportation announced on Thursday the opening of five bridges in Bennington and Rutland counties and 20 segments of downed roadways statewide. Nonetheless, state officials encourage visitors to travel on major interstates. For road updates: governor.vermont.gov/newsroom-vtrans-bridge-road-openings.
One glint of silver lining: The winds weren’t strong enough to foil leaf-peepers. “We are not anticipating any challenges going into foliage season,” said Steve Cook, spokesman for the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing. “The trees are in great shape.”
Massachusetts: The island ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are up and running, as are whale-watching boat tours. The Boston Harbor Islands of Georges, Spectacle, Grape and Lovells are welcoming guests again; ferry service to Georges and Spectacle has resumed. The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce reports that nearly 95 percent of lodgings and most beaches there are open. However, beachgoers should watch for swimming alerts on strands facing the Atlantic and south.
In the Berkshires, Tanglewood returns to its regularly scheduled programming.
Rhode Island: Expect spotty power outages and a handful of road closures. Most state beaches, parks, bike paths and campgrounds are accepting visitors again. (Note: There is a mandatory boil-water order at Burlingame State Campground.) Block Island ferries are back in the water.
Connecticut: Shore towns are experiencing intermittent power outages, so you might have to drive a bit for your fried clams. More than 25 state parks and forests are closed, but 40-plus natural spaces are open. Six of 15 campgrounds have reopened. Swimming areas, such as Hammonasset Beach State Park, the state’s largest shoreline park, are slowly coming back.
New York City: It’s back to never sleeping.
New Jersey: The storm barely scratched the boardwalks, beaches and Atlantic City casinos along the Jersey Shore. But officials warn of rough travel in the northeast region, near the Passaic River Basin, which experienced heavy flooding. NJ Transit service is almost fully restored. For transportation updates: www.511nj.org.
North Carolina: Throw down a towel on the state’s southern beaches (Wrightsville, Oak Island, Surf City, etc.) or along the Crystal Coast, including sections of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Climbs have resumed at the black-and-white lighthouse. Officials counting the wild horses of Shackleford Banks have located most of the herd, including a foal born during the storm and appropriately named Aftermath.
In Currituck County, the beaches of Carova and Corolla are open, but watch out for debris. Hatteras Island remains shuttered, and ferry service to Ocracoke Island has been suspended.
The Bahamas: Planes and cruise ships are flying and sailing to the islands again. Atlantis, the mega-resort on Paradise Island, is jamming, but Breezes Bahamas in Nassau will close for repairs and expects to reopen Nov. 1.
Resorts on the Out Islands, such as Cat Island, suffered mainly cosmetic damage. Some properties on these smaller isles are closed, but not because of Irene — it’s a seasonal thing.